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Medical History Interest Group Lecture Series

Laupus Library History Collections & the Department of Bioethics & Interdisciplinary Studies sponsor the Medical History Interest Group Presentations as an educational service for the East Carolina University community. The Library hopes that the speakers and topics selected will promote a greater understanding of the historical and philosophical underpinnings of today's health care disciplines.

For more information contact our History Collections department.

You can also view recordings of many of our past presentations in our archives.


Spring 2017 Medical History Interest Group Presentations

Pain: A Political History 

Tuesday, January 31 at 7pm 

Presented by Keith Wailoo, PhD, Townsend Martin Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University as part of ECU Voyages of Discovery. Medical History Interest Group is a co-sponsor.

Presentation will take place at Wright Auditorium. City and campus maps 

Tickets Required (Free to ECU students; $10 for everyone else) 

NOTE: Special time, place, & other arrangements

Race, Medicine, Authorship, and the ‘Discovery’ of Sickle Cell Disease, 1910-1911

Monday, February 27 at 4:30pm

Dr. Todd Savitt, Professor of Bioethics & Interdisciplinary Studies, tells the very divergent stories of the first two sickle-cell disease (SCD) patients in the medical literature (1910-1911) and their physicians against the backdrop of a racially divided America and of a highly competitive scientific community. He shows how race and class affected the discovery of SCD and how credit for the discovery was apportioned. Prof. Savitt will also tell about his own “adventures” in tracking down the identities and backgrounds of these first two SCD patients.

Call the (Eastern North Carolina) Midwife: The Remarkable Career of Lovie Beard Shelton

Monday, March 27 at 4:30pm

Presented by Lisa Yarger, MA Folklore, Freelance Writer and Bookshop Owner, Munich, Germany

From 1950 to 2001, nurse-midwife Lovie Beard Shelton delivered some 4000 babies in eastern North Carolina homes. The first public health nurse in Pamlico County and the first nurse-midwife to practice in North Carolina, Shelton, who was white, navigated between the white medical and public health establishment and the African American communities she primarily served. Her career serves as a window into the rich and complicated history of birth and midwifery in North Carolina in the second half of the 20th century.

In The Beginning....The Tar Heel State and Public Health

Monday, April 10 at 4:30pm

Presented by E. Daniel Shingleton, MSW, ECU Social Work (retired)

Public health historian E. Daniel Shingleton provides an overview of the formative years of public health services in North Carolina. He shows how Drs. Thomas F. Wood and Solomon S. Satchwell played critical roles in the formation of the North Carolina State Board of Health in 1877. The related importance of the North Carolina Medical Society will also be outlined.


All presentations are held at the 4th floor Evelyn Fike Laupus Gallery of the Laupus Library (except where noted).

Refreshments will be provided.
Lectures are sponsored by the Laupus Library History Collections and the Department of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Lectures may be videotaped.

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